Donovan’s Brain

Ghoul Mourning, Maniacs !

The fine folks at Gravedigger’s Local  have enlisted me to terrorize, I mean, entertain you as we look at Don Ho ‘s Brain. Wait a second, there’s a smudge of jam here on the screen … I meant Donovan ‘s Brain. (Note to self…no more jam filled donuts near the screen.)

Donovan’s Brain is a 1942 science fiction novel by Curt Siodmak . It has been adapted for radio in 1944 and the silver screen, three times: as  The Lady and the Monster (1944), Donovan’s Brain (1953), and The Brain (1962). I want to talk about the 1953 version directed by Felix E. Feist.

Physician and aspiring scientist, Dr. Cory helps out on an accident call. The victim is a wealthy, crass, businessman, W. H. Donovan. His plane crashed and he dies. Dr. Cory “acquires” Donovan’s brain for his experiments. You know, if this took place today, he’d be commended for “thinking green” and recycling, reusing material.

Dr. Cory has a friend, Dr. Schratt, that stays with he and his wife. Dr. Schratt, is a bit of a drinker and is often sleeping off a hangover. Dr. Cory is constantly telling him things like “Come on boy! Go get a shower.”

The two doctors have the brain set up in a tank and conduct their studies on whether a brain can continue without a body. Well, most of today’s reality tv stars can survive without brains, so why not?!

Eventually, the brain and Dr. Cory connect via telepathy. The brain controls Cory’s motor skills and he writes down names in handwriting that is clearly Donovan’s . Forget “Stupid Pet Tricks” on Letterman! I want to see this! Cory starts taking on mannerisms that were Donovan’s, too. This is a cause for concern to Cory’s wife and friend.

Dr. Cory leaves for the city, really under the mental grip of the brain and unable to break it. He gets a hotel room, withdraws large amounts of cash (bribe money) from the accounts Donovan had set up and really raises suspicions of the authorities. He also visits Donovan’s lawyer and plies some extortion type pressure on him and his “Washington connection.”

Donovan’s control of the doctor increases and the brain pushes it’s abilities to other minds, like a reporter named Herbie Yocum, that is snooping around. He has multiple copies of photos and articles, describing Dr. Cory’s questionable methods of taking the brain. Donovan mentally urges the reporter to crash his vehicle while driving from Dr. Cory’s home.

Donovan’s political connection meets with Dr. Cory and the lawyer. They notice with some disgust, that Dr. Cory is imitating Donovan. Little do they know that Dr. Cory is but a puppet and not doing it to creep them out! Dr. Cory gets hit by a car and winds up in a hospital. He conducts business and Donovan’s financial dirty work, from a phone in his room. Even Donovan ‘s offspring confront Donovan/Cory and are given warnings and financial threats!

The brain is growing larger in it’s glass tank. It is pulsating and shaking, nearly indestructible and can read the thoughts of the Cory’s and their alcoholic friend, Dr. Schratt. I wonder if the brain gave up after many verses of “How Dry I Am” or “Show Me the Way to go Home” coursing through Dr. Schratt’s mind. They do, however, come up with a plot to destroy the brain, once and for all. I know what you’re thinking, “Did they force it to watch Jersey Shore?” Ahh, they didn’t have those kinds of shows back then. Besides, that would’ve been cruel and unusual punishment!

Here’s another thought…Dr.Schratt, the constantly hungover friend and Donovan’s brain had a common bond…They were both constantly TANKED !


It ‘s one thing for the brain to  get forcefully moved from side to side in the tank’s liquid, or to have Dr. Schratt on a bender. Either way they’re getting SLOSHED!


Donovan’s Brain vs. The Long Island Medium. Who would win?

Cerebral is to the brain function, as SIRIBRAWL is arguing with your iPhone’s digital assistant!


And with that, I bid you farewell until next time!

Monstermatt Patterson

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